ASX-listed MOD Resources has announced results of the scoping study for a proposed open-pit mine at its 70 %-owned T3 copper-silver deposit in the Kalahari Copperbelt of Botswana. The project economics are highly encouraging and highlight MOD’s potential to become a long-life copper producer in Botswana.
Due to the robust financial outcomes indicated by the scoping study, MOD and joint venture partner, Metal Tiger (30 %), will proceed with a pre-feasibility study (PFS) commencing early 2017.
The 2 Mt/a sulphide flotation plant proposed for the T3 deposit.
On 26 September 2016, MOD announced a maiden resource at T3 comprising 28,36 Mt grading 1,24 % copper and 15,7 g/t silver, containing approximately 350 200 tonnes of copper (approximately772 Mlb copper) and more than14 Moz of silver. The T3 resource includes 18 Mt grading 1,35 % Cu and 16,7 g/t Ag in the indicated resource category which represents 64 % of the total resource. The resource is open along strike west of current drilling and extension drilling is planned in early 2017.
T3 mineralisation consists of disseminated and vein hosted copper sulphides including chalcopyrite, bornite and chalcocite occurring within a shallow dipping sequence of sediments up to 50 m true width. As part of the PFS, MOD intends to conduct infill drilling around areas of high-grade vein mineralisation within the resource. The purpose is to define the extent of this high grade mineralisation which may provide opportunities for improving the grade of current production targets at an early stage of mining.
The PFS will also consider optimisation of the mining schedule and reducing project capital and operating costs with a view to further enhancing the already robust metrics of the T3 project.
In parallel with the PFS, exploration will also increase in early 2017, initially to test a large area of approximately 250 km2 within the T3 Dome directly north of T3 for similar type sediment-hosted deposits. The T3 Dome is interpreted to be extend over 50 km in length and is covered by MOD and Metal Tiger joint venture prospecting licences. Drilling has already commenced testing for shallow mineralisation along strike from T3 and a 3D IP survey will start in early 2017 to help define targets for deeper drilling. MOD is expanding the technical team in Botswana to support the step change in activity next year.
T3 is located within 12 km of the Ghanzi Highway in an area of freehold cattle farms. MOD has been advised by Botswana Power Corporation that grid power is planned to be extended along the Ghanzi Highway in mid-2019.
The company is already in advanced discussion with a number of parties regarding staged funding of the PFS, definitive feasibility study (DFS), resource extension drilling, exploration programmes and potentially the pre-production capital depending on the successful outcome of the DFS.
The scoping study includes an optimised pit design to approximately 220 m vertical depth and construction of a processing plant to treat 2 Mt/a of ore with low cost expansion optionality if required. Pre-stripping of the first stage of the planned open pit is scheduled to commence in 2019 with ore processing targeted to commence later in 2019.
Total indicative mine life is approximately 10 years with 9,25 years of ore production with estimated life of mine (LOM) average production of approximately 21,8 kt/a copper and 665 koz/a silver.
MOD Resources Managing Director Julian Hanna says the scoping study clearly demonstrates the project’s strong commercial potential as well as the opportunity for significant upside.
“T3 is a significant new sediment-hosted copper and silver deposit which has progressed from discovery to completion of a positive scoping study in just nine months. Total cost from discovery to completion of the scoping study was only approximately US$2,5 million, confirming the outstanding efforts and commitment of the exploration and scoping study teams as well as the quality of the deposit.
“T3 is also exciting from a geological standpoint because it opens up a wider potential for further discoveries in this extensive area of the Kalahari Copperbelt which remains untested.”